IMPRESSIONS: Philadanco in the Harkness Dance Festival at the 92nd Street Y
Date: March 3, 2017
Choreographers: Christopher Huggins, Francisco Gella, Ray Mercer
Dancers: Rosita Adamo, Janine Beckles, Elyse Browning, William E. Burden, Clarricia Golden, Joe Gonzalez, Victor Lewis Jr., Dana Nichols, Courtney Robinson, Jah’Meek D. Williams
Lighting design: Clifton Taylor, Nick Kolin
Composers: Sohn, Philip Glass, Gidon Kremer, Bongi Duma (original Score) and John Powell
Super 8 choreographed by Ray Mercer, a company member of the Broadway show The Lion King, concludes with “a celebration of the importance of cohesive community,” as stated in the program. Certainly a performance by Philadanco is just that. The dancers are so focused, and connected that the company dances as one. With immaculate partnering, this company radiates pride in its precision and presentation.
This talented, respected company could take more choreographic risk. Their audiences, whether children in schools, aspiring young artists, adults, or seniors, are clearly reminded that dancers symbolize strength and grace and that Black bodies are beautiful. Perhaps that is enough in these fractious times?
Maybe one day soon, Philadanco will answer the global call and put its artistic muscle towards statements that can galvanize us or dare to us to see the world anew. They are ready.